Kawai 45″ Studio Upright Piano.

Kawai was founded in 1927 by Koichi Kawai, an inventor and former Yamaha employee who was the first person in Japan to design and build a piano action. While Kawai is second in size to Yamaha among Japanese piano manufacturers, it has a well-deserved reputation all its own for quality and innovation.  Kawai’s quality control is excellent. Major problems are rare, and other than normal maintenance, after-sale service is usually limited to fixing the occasional minor buzz or squeak. Kawai’s warranty service is also excellent, and the warranty is transferable to future owners within the warranty period (a benefit that is not common these days). The tone of Kawai pianos is close to ideal for classical music especially in a comparison with more expensive instruments, and in any case, they are quite versatile musically. In part because the touch is so good, Kawai grands are often sought by classical pianists as a less-expensive alternative to a Steinway or other high-end piano.

Kawai model K-200 Professional Upright Piano 3 at 88 Keys Piano Warehouse & Showroom

Kawai K-200 Professional Upright Piano | Kawai K Series (kawaius.com)  The K-200 model includes Kawai’s Millennium 111 piano-action made with carbon-fiber composites.  One of Kawai’s most important innovations is the use of ABS Styran plastic in the manufacture of action parts. More than 40 years of use and scientific testing have shown this material to be superior to wood for this purpose. ABS does not swell and shrink with changes in humidity, so actions made with it are likely to maintain proper regulation better than wood actions. The parts are stronger and without glue joints, so breakage is rare. These parts are present in every Kawai piano. In the current Millennium III action found in some models, the ABS is reinforced with carbon fiber so it can be stronger with less mass. Having less mass to move (that is, less inertia), the action can be more responsive to the player’s intentions, including faster repetition. Certain contact surfaces on the action parts are also micro-engineered for ideal shape and texture, resulting in a more consistent touch. Although it took a number of years to overcome the idea that plastic parts must be inferior, there is essentially no dispute anymore among piano technicians on this subject. 

The hammers are made with underfelt and mahogany moldings, which improves the responsiveness of the action and the tonal sustain.  The soundboard is tapered for improved tonal response.  The keybed is double-braced and steel-reinforced to prevent warping and flex.  The fallboard has their Soft Close System which is a slow-close function.  The concert bench is adjustable.  Kawai MSRP – $7995.   88 Keys Piano Warehouse & Showroom price – $6950.

Kawai model K-200 Professional Upright Piano 2 at 88 Keys Piano Warehouse & Showroom